by Maria Depenweiller, P.H.Ec.
Whole grains are an important part of a healthy diet. These nutritious complex carbohydrates are typically low in fat and a great source of fibre, B-vitamins and minerals. Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating recommends that at least half the grains we eat daily should be ‘whole’ grain.
Delicious whole grain options such as barley, quinoa (technically a seed not a grain), brown rice, wild rice, buckwheat and millet are widely available, affordable and easy to prepare.
Tips for Serving Whole Grains More Often:
Add whole grain goodness to family meals with the following easy recipes:
Steamed Millet with Pan-roasted Portobello Mushroom and Onions
1 cup (250 mL) millet, well rinsed and drained
2 cups (500 mL) water
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large Portobello mushroom, finely chopped
3 Tbsp (45 mL) canola oil
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) ground black pepper
1. In a small saucepan, cover millet in water. Cook on medium heat for approximately 20 minutes, until all water is absorbed and millet is fluffy and soft.
2. In a frying pan, heat canola oil with black pepper. Sauté onions with mushrooms until onions turn golden brown. Season with salt.
3. In a large bowl, gently toss together the cooked millet, mushroom and onion. Serve hot as a main course or as a side dish. Makes 6 servings. One side serving = ½ cup (125 mL).
Red Quinoa and Wheat Berry Salad
Excerpted from The Vegetarian’s Complete Quinoa Cookbook (Whitecap Books) edited by Mairlyn Smith, P.H.Ec.
Photo by Mike McColl, from The Vegetarian's Complete Quinoa Cookbook (Whitecap Books).
Wheat berries are the whole wheat kernel. Found in most health food or bulk food stores, they have a nutty flavour and a chewy texture. This colourful salad by Erin MacGregor, P.H.Ec., RD, combines the flavours of lemon, shallots and parsley with the nutty, chewy texture of the wheat berries, making it a real winner. It can be served warm or cold.
½ cup (125 mL) wheat berries, well rinsed and drained
2 cups (500 mL) cooked red quinoa made with water (rinse quinoa/follow package instructions)
½ cup (125 mL) dried cranberries
⅓ cup (80 mL) whole almonds, chopped
⅓ cup (80 mL) chopped fresh parsley
Zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup (60 mL) fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp (30 mL) minced shallot (about 1 shallot)
¼ cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp (10 mL) liquid honey
½ tsp (2 mL) Dijon mustard
1. In a medium saucepan, bring 1¼ cups (310 mL) of water to a boil. Stir in the wheat berries and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the wheat berries are tender. Remove from heat, drain any excess water; allow to cool slightly.
2. In a large bowl, toss together the cooked quinoa, wheat berries, cranberries, almonds and parsley.
3. DRESSING: In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon zest and juice, shallots, oil, honey and Dijon mustard.
4. TO SERVE: Pour the dressing over the quinoa mixture and toss well. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Makes about 4 cups (1 L). One side serving = ½ cup (125 mL).
Maria Depenweiller, P.H.Ec., is a Milton-based Professional Home Economist and member of the Ontario Home Economics Association.
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